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Apple continues to hold ‘substantial lead’ over competitors

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, August 8, 2005
News Categories: iPod

Following meetings last week with digital music companies such as Apple and RealNetworks, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said he is “more convinced than ever that Apple has a substantial lead and advantage” over competitors.

In a research report obtained by iLounge, Wu said that the tightly integrated combination of the iPod, iTunes and iTunes Music Store shows no sign of giving up ground to competing companies and formats. “This is despite competitive efforts over the past 2-3 years and continued efforts to erode its dominance,” he said.

“Progress is being made by the Windows Media camp, but coordination and integration are proving difficult because of the many vendors involved including systems, semiconductor, software, content, and service providers, with their various agendas and diverse geographies,” Wu said.

Wu also said that Apple could introduce more than just new iPods at the Apple Expo this September. “We believe Apple could use the upcoming keynote by Steve Jobs at the Apple Expo 2005 event in Paris to make a significant announcement beyond just new iPods,” Wu said. “We believe this could be new markets including music subscriptions and video and the ever-elusive Motorola iTunes cell phone.”

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Comments

1

As somebody who recently switched from a dying Dell box to a Mac, I can say the analysis doesn’t surprise me at all — with my Mac and Tiger everything works together seamlessly, which was not the case with my previous system. Apple may control a much smaller slice of the proverbial computing pie, but if you’re inside that slice, everything works great.

Posted by mysteriousphantom in Flyover Country on August 8, 2005 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

2

I agree with mysterious above. Hardware is great, but when it works well with software, it’s even better.

Horrible software is why Sony (who creates fantastic hardware) is trailing so badly.

Posted by Dave on August 8, 2005 at 11:47 AM (PDT)

3

I wonder when the pundits will finally give up and say that the iPod is the dominant player for the forseeable future.  I laugh every quarter as Apple continues to show strong sales after the doom and gloom predictions of so-called analysts.  The funniest was last quarters prediction that cell phones are going to replace iPods.  I think cell phone manufacturers should actually get cell phones to work before tackling music players!

Posted by Frank Z on August 8, 2005 at 1:29 PM (PDT)

4

This lead is why Apple can poorly document and support the iPod. Also keeps them from including features that people really want. Even worse, they can mistakenly remove functionality and not worry about giving it back.

How many months has real time updating of playlists been gone?

Their attitude is that they must be doing all the right things or people would stop buying iPods.

Posted by klwdallas in Dallas, TX on August 8, 2005 at 5:46 PM (PDT)

5

Real-time updating of smart playlists is still available in iTunes 4.9

Posted by scottishfishes8 in Chicago, IL on August 8, 2005 at 8:14 PM (PDT)

6

“Real-time updating of smart playlists is still available in iTunes 4.9”

They broke it on the latest iPod firmware.  Works fine in iTunes, but smart playlists will not update on the iPod until you plug it back in.  In the past, all you needed to do is restart the playlist, and it would update itself to account for new playcount and last played statistics.  The average joe or josephine doesn’t use smart playlists so the vast majority of the time it goes unnoticed.

“The funniest was last quarters prediction that cell phones are going to replace iPods.”

Maybe I’m just getting older and out of touch or something (only 25!), but I feel this sort of convergence is not what people want.  I have a hard enough time keeping my cellphone battery charged during the day as it is.  Combining it with iPod capability doesn’t help.  Cellphone + PDA makes sense because they are related technologies, and adding them together makes the a product that’s greater than the sum of it’s part.  Cellphone + iPod doesn’t fit this criteria, so for that reason I think the announced Motorola phone will flop.

Posted by Joelmole on August 8, 2005 at 8:59 PM (PDT)

7

Last May, Bill Gates said to a German newspaper that the iPod success is not sustainable:

“As good as Apple may be, I don’t believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run….You can make parallels with computers: Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphics user interface—like the iPod today—and then lost its position.”

M$ prefers to bet on future smart mobile phones. However, their long-term investment doesn’t seem the best strategy. They are loosing the mp3 player market. Good for Apple!

Posted by zipods.com on August 8, 2005 at 9:50 PM (PDT)

8

Well, I live in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and here the number of iPods everywhere in the city has EXPLODED over the last year. They are everywhere! And we got ITMS a few months ago! I guess the expanding iPod sales last quarter must be because international sales, which lag USA slaes, are now expanding and catching up.

It is obvious Apple is cementing its lead - there is no serious competition!

Well done Apple - I look forward to September, so I can replace my 20GB 2G iPod, coz the plastic has got a bit scratched…

Posted by RobMarsh on August 9, 2005 at 3:57 AM (PDT)

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